You met the person who makes your heart sing and your face hurt from smiling but does that mean they’re a keeper?
Many people could make us happy, especially in the short term, but it’s harder to tell if the two of you will be compatible and happy together down the road.
Let me clarify upfront that no couple is 100% happy all of the time, because we all have small differences and will occasionally get on each other’s nerves. The important thing is that you’re in a relationship that makes you satisfied and happy in general—that makes you excited about life and sharing it.
Let’s look at 7 signs that you are, indeed, with a true Keeper.
Sign #1: You Can Have Fun Together.
This seems like a big “duh” at first. But look closer, and you’ll find that some couples actually don’t have fun together.
In the beginning, you might have fun doing things together, but is it something both couples enjoy?
I’ve had many female friends who fell for a man, and thought that he liked doing things they did. It turns out the man was trying to impress her. The same goes for ladies. Women will go do things that they don’t enjoy just to spend time with their new man. Because they’re infatuated, they don’t care as much, and they see it as spending time together.
Aimee spent four months dating a man before she realized they actually didn’t do anything together besides eat out. That realization prompted her to ask “Rick” about his interests and what he liked to do for fun. It turns out they didn’t have anything that they both liked to do—not even close.
There are other couples who do things, but they fight and bicker, or spend the time on their phones instead of interacting. If your partner is a keeper, you’ll have some activities that you can share, and things that you both find fun.
Mark and Emily had a blast on their first date. They went to sushi and then out to play pool. The following dates were fun too, but soon after making it an official relationship, Emily no longer wanted to go out. When they did, she didn’t seem to enjoy it.
Having fun might sound silly, but it’s a critical component to any relationship.
Sign #2: You Share Some Interests.
Sharing interests will be a big help in having fun together.
Even if it’s going to an arcade and playing pinball, you should have some way to connect. You might both be into fitness, or cooking, or travel. Maybe you both like puzzles, chess, or video games.
If you’re lucky, you and your partner will have many shared interests so you have lots to talk about and do to together.
On the other end of the spectrum are couples like Heather and Jason, who had nothing in common. Heather was a nurse who liked sports. Jason wasn’t an active person, and he liked fixing up cars to race. They both had other interests, but there wasn’t anything they seemed to both like. They didn’t get involved in each other’s activities either.
After just two years together, they spent their evenings apart. She would play basketball while he went to a friend’s garage to tinker with an engine.
They actually had a weekly date night, but it wasn’t enough to keep them together.
None of their interests matched up, and they grew apart.
Sign #3: You Match Up On Big Things.
Our couple Heather and Jason had other problems too, which illustrates this point.
They didn’t really agree on beliefs. In the beginning, Jason “went along” with Heather’s religious beliefs for a little while, but he didn’t actually believe them.
They had different ideas about being healthy too.
On top of that, she was against any kind of drinking because her father had been an alcoholic while Jason was a beer drinker.
Neither of them were in the wrong, but having different (and strong) beliefs on things made it very hard for them to come together.
You need to match up on the big things to have a “keeper” relationship.
Many studies have found that relationships work out and are more successful when the two people match up on some key items.
You’re much more likely to be with a keeper if you have similar:
- Social status
- Overall health
- Desire for children
- Life goals
You don’t have to match exactly on everything, but the more items you’re different on, the more friction you’ll have.
It might not be a big deal if one person has a college degree while the other barely finished high school, but it could lead to problems with earning potential.
If one person is a health nut while the other one has health problems, or just doesn’t take care of themselves, it can cause problems.
It’s usually a huge issue if one person wants kids while the other doesn’t.
If you think you’re with a keeper, talk about the things that are important to you and see how you match up. If you’re different on some things, do you see ways to compromise or a way that both people can be happy with the outcome?
And if you’re crossing over to your partner’s way of doing things or thinking, will you be happy with that in 5 years? Or will you come to resent them?
It’s a big issue to think about.
Sign #4: You Complement Each Other.
While it’s important to “compliment” each other, i.e. say nice things, in this case I’m talking about complementing each other—you complete each other in some areas.
This is where opposites do attract. That saying is popular because it’s true.
We just discussed how important it is to agree on big issues. This doesn’t contradict that because it’s a different matter.
If you and your partner have all the same strengths and weaknesses, you won’t complement each other. You won’t help each other grow. But if you’re good at different things, and together your skill sets, talents, and knowledge work together, you’re like a super team.
The idea here is that you go together well. Your personalities work together, and you can offer something to the other person. A good example of this not working comes from Amanda and Jeff. They hit it off and everyone agreed they were soul mates.
They were so alike, how could they not be?
Well, it turned out that they were so alike that they got bored with each other quickly, even though things started out like some fairytale love story.
Sign #5: You Respect Each Other.
A long term relationship involves many things like love, trust, and respect. You need that for when things do get hard, and you might resent your partner or grow bitter.
A keeper will respect you, and your beliefs, values, ideas, and opinions.
Even if you match up on the first 4 signs, it can be a huge problem if your partner will make jokes at your expense, interrupt you often, laugh at you, talk about you to others in a negative way, or treat you in any way that isn’t with respect.
One way to catch this one is if your partner often says, “I was only joking.” If they hurt you or put you down and add “I was only joking” that means they’re not respecting you. It’s not okay to hurt people and then call it a joke.
Sign #6: You Communicate.
A keeper will open up and share with you.
And in a relationship, you’ll know what’s going on in their lives.
Life is so much easier with a partner who can articulate their emotions and thoughts, and it’s a huge plus when they can listen and really understand you.
Luckily people can learn to communicate better. In fact, we can learn new communication skills all through our life. So it’s important that your partner communicates and is open to improving communication skills.
You can be in a relationship with someone for some time and then learn that they communicate differently than you—and that will open new ways to connect.
If your partner values communication, you might be with a keeper.
Sign #7: You Work Through The Tough Things.
Stonewalling your partner while you complain about the issue to friends and coworkers, or… Talking to your partner about what’s bothering you and work through it?
Some of us will pick the first option if we’re honest.
We don’t want to bring up a touchy subject or do something that will result in confrontation.
Other people will nitpick, make snarky remarks, and use sarcasm instead of talking through an issue. And some of us would rather just break up and start over with someone new than fix problems in a current relationship.
If you have a keeper, however, that person will be willing to hear you out when you need to talk, and will also speak up when things need changed.
A keeper will make a commitment to you through thick and thin.
If your partner meets these 7 signs, congratulations! You have a keeper.
If they’re close, you can always work on some things. You might have found a few things to work on yourself!
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Being in a relationship is no guarantee that you are happy.
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